Understanding the antiepileptic benefits of an Atkins-like diet

June 23, 2011

Some individuals with epilepsy fail to respond to treatment with conventional drugs but benefit from consuming a ketogenic diet — a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet similar to the more commonly known Atkins diet. A team of researchers, led by Detlev Boison, at the Legacy Research Institute, Portland, has now identified in mice the molecular mechanism responsible for the antiepileptic effects of the ketogenic diet.

The team found that a ketogenic reduces seizures in mice by decreasing expression of the protein Adk, which is responsible for clearing the natural antiepileptic agent adenosine from the brain. The clinical relevance of these data are highlighted by the team's finding that brain tissue from patients with that fails to respond to treatment with conventional drugs shows increased levels of Adk.

The team suggests that their data could lead to the development of less-restrictive antiepileptic diets and alternate pharmaceutical approaches to treatment, notions with which Robert Greene, at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, concurs in an accompanying commentary.

More information: A ketogenic diet suppresses seizures in mice through adenosine A1 receptors, www.jci.org/articles/view/57813?key=b823f84a9a31512e6849

Related Stories

Recommended for you

'CYCLOPS' algorithm spots daily rhythms in cells

April 25, 2017

Humans, like virtually all other complex organisms on Earth, have adapted to their planet's 24-hour cycle of sunlight and darkness. That circadian rhythm is reflected in human behavior, of course, but also in the molecular ...

Discovery offers new hope to repair spinal cord injuries

April 24, 2017

Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes created a special type of neuron from human stem cells that could potentially repair spinal cord injuries. These cells, called V2a interneurons, transmit signals in the spinal cord to ...

Motion sickness drug worsens motion perception

April 24, 2017

A new study led by Massachusetts Eye and Ear researchers found that oral promethazine, a drug commonly taken to alleviate motion sickness, temporarily worsened vestibular perception thresholds by 31 percent, lowering one's ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.